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My Journey to Koryu Kata


Matt in 2004 and 2014. Practise of Sanchin kata with a standing Zen feeling has changed the nature of his technique.

As I write this, I'm 36 years old. It will be interesting to see what changes I go through in the next 10 years. Here are some points to consider as I go on my journey:

  1. If you don't try you will never succeed.
  2. Your technique has to become internal and less a matter of external force. If it doesn't, you won't go beyond Kusanku kata. For my internal development, I have been practicing Sanchin Kata and investigating standing Zen (in fact, I think Sanchin is standing Zen). And I've tried to take the feelings I've gotten from these things and apply them to the rest of my karate. You can't just breathe one way as you practice Sanchin and then do it differently in everything else. You must use tanden breathing all the time.
  3. Once your technique starts to become internal, you need to work on delivering the power from your tanden like a shockwave. The energy releases into your opponent and then goes back into you again, so you are ready to launch the next technique. This all happens very quickly, in milliseconds, Sakamoto-Sensei calls this a tanden circuit. I'm working on doing this more efficiently and becoming more explosive.
  4. There are no absolutes. The technique is always changing, so don't get locked into a box. There's no limit to what your body can do and the power you can create.
  5. You need to relax, but it's relaxation with a coiled purpose, like a snake ready to strike.
  6. Even though you are using internal technique, your external body is still involved. You must maintain your body structure or the technique will not work.
  7. The koryu kata are a combination of everything you learned from Nihanchi to Ryushan, done with the right feeling.


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